IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Approach to Reducing Bus Bunching


  • Pilachowski, Joshua Michael


The tendency of buses to bunch is a problem that was defined almost 50 years ago. Since then, there has been a significant amount of work done on the problem; however, the tendency of the current literature is either to only focus on the surface causes or to rely on simulation to create results instead of model formulation. With GPS installed on many buses throughout the world, the data is only being used for monitoring and informing the user. This research proposes a new approach to solving the problem that uses the GPS data to directly counteract the cause of the bunching by allowing the buses to cooperate with each other and determine their speed based on relative position. A continuum approximation model is presented as a tool to systematically analyze the behavior of the system and test the proposed control. In order to validate the model and the control, a simulation tool is used to model the system in a more realistic, discrete way. The control is shown to produce bounded deviations in spacing consistent with those predicted by the model. The resulting bus system will not bunch with only a small reduction in commercial speed.

Suggested Citation

  • Pilachowski, Joshua Michael, 2009. "An Approach to Reducing Bus Bunching," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6zc5j8xg, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt6zc5j8xg

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dessouky, Maged & Hall, Randolph & Zhang, Lei & Singh, Ajay, 2003. "Real-time control of buses for schedule coordination at a terminal," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 145-164, February.
    2. Daganzo, Carlos F., 2009. "A headway-based approach to eliminate bus bunching: Systematic analysis and comparisons," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 913-921, December.
    3. Herbert Mohring & John Schroeter & Paitoon Wiboonchutikula, 1987. "The Values of Waiting Time, Travel Time, and a Seat on a Bus," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 40-56, Spring.
    4. Rossetti, Manuel D. & Turitto, Timothy, 1998. "Comparing static and dynamic threshold based control strategies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 607-620, November.
    5. Strathman, James G. & Hopper, Janet R., 1993. "Empirical analysis of bus transit on-time performance," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 93-100, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Sivakumaran, Karthikgeyan & Li, Yuwei & Cassidy, Michael J. & Madanat, Samer, 2010. "Cost-Saving Properties of Schedule Coordination in a Simple Trunk-and-Feeder Transit System," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9qr8s3hx, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Schmöcker, Jan-Dirk & Sun, Wenzhe & Fonzone, Achille & Liu, Ronghui, 2016. "Bus bunching along a corridor served by two lines," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 93(PA), pages 300-317.
    3. repec:eee:transb:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:123-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daganzo, Carlos F. & Pilachowski, Josh, 2011. "Reducing bunching with bus-to-bus cooperation," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 267-277, January.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt6zc5j8xg. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.